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Bricklinking Set Experiences

zippityzoomzippityzoom Member Posts: 86
edited January 2013 in Buying & Selling Topics
Was curious to hear everyone's thoughts, particularly those who have tried it: Is it generally worth it to buy incomplete sets and then try to complete them yourself via Bricklink or other secondary sources?

Looking for a way to obtain sets in the most economical way and wondered if it's worth doing or ultimately just as costly? Time cost will be obvious, but since it's a hobby, it's not too much a concern.


  • DiggydoesDiggydoes Member Posts: 1,079
    edited November 2012
    Hi everybody,
    after completing a 10179 via Bricklink a year ago,and after (almost)finishing GG&CC the BL-route i somehow became addicted in BL'ing retired sets! Do you have any input which set(s) are worth to BL? I always try to BL x 2 so i can sell one to fund the one that i keep,so i'm mainly looking for sets that are "valuable"!
  • kylejohnson11kylejohnson11 Member Posts: 508
    edited November 2012
    I'm currently working on the Holiday Train #10173 by getting pieces off of BL. I am adding a few extra passenger cars on it too. The pieces are not that rare, but it does seem to fetch a decent price.
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 Member Posts: 1,431
    ^ I have the holiday train. Bought it on ebay last year. There are a few pieces missing so I may disassemble it and rebuild it (it came pre-built) and BL the rest of it. It really is a nice set.
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 Member Posts: 1,431
    ^ just found out I never added the holidaya train to my inventory. I'm getting dangerously close to the 100,000 piece mark. :-)
  • DiggydoesDiggydoes Member Posts: 1,079
    Hmm,never thought of the Holiday Train! I'll def.check if this may become my next project! Thanks for the input so far!
  • bricksanbricksan Member Posts: 566
    How did you find doing the CC on Bricklink, I am doing the same, only thing not fussed about is box and instructions. However all parts I am buying most be new and the two expensive parts I have been given :-)
  • DiggydoesDiggydoes Member Posts: 1,079
    ^i've managed to find some ways to get the expensive parts at almost no cost in buying other sets that contained these parts too and sell the other (not needed) parts in my BL-store! I wanted a accurate copy,the only exceptions i've made are the with;w/o "groove"parts!
    I def.ain't going to buy instr./box,these are waaay to expensive!
  • JenniJenni Member Posts: 1,390
    Brickdancer bricklinks a lot of sets, you should talk to him. I believe one recent project was the Taj Mahal. That should keep you occupied for a while :)
  • bricksanbricksan Member Posts: 566
    @diddydoes why did you not add the groove parts?
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Member Posts: 3,639
    edited November 2012
    ^Thanks for the mention @Jenni!

    @Diggydoes I do recommend the Taj as all parts are current and final value of the set used still works out well to the BL cost, so should not be a loss if you decided to sell later. Same story for the Eiffel Tower which costed around $300 to BL, it has only a couple hard to find parts (Part 48288: 8x16 tile being one) Another easy one is the Batman Tumbler #7888 set, you can BL it for relatively cheap and it will sell for >$125 used, so should be very profitable if you decide to sell. The AT-TE 7675 worked out to be a decent amount of savings, but time factor nulled the cost benefit I think. Republic Gunship 7676 is a good one too, if you can find the stickers for cheap.

    Sets that don't make sense to BL are the Statue of Liberty, Deathstar II, AT-AT 8129 and the Carousel. BL costs will match or exceed the price of a complete used set.
  • DaddyDeuceDaddyDeuce Member Posts: 272
    I second the recommendation for Holiday Train. I came very close to bricklinking the whole thing, but then I stumbled into an 85% complete set and I just bricklinked what was missing.

    Some observations:
    1: Bricklink shows the plant leaves (2423) having an alternative color of bright green, and it shows that part in that color as being exclusive to this set. I think this is an error; there is just enough variation in these parts that some of them appear brighter than others.

    2: The windows (6556) in white are around $5 each on Bricklink. Part (4033) is a good replacement for around $1 each instead.

    3: The new train buffers (91968c01) are a cost effective replacement for the old combination of (2920,4022,73092).

    4: If the minifigures are hard to track down, remember that they can be built from parts instead of buying them as a unit.
  • bricksanbricksan Member Posts: 566
    If the whole point of bricklinking a set is to have your own version, what is the point of getting replacement parts. if it is not identical then it is not the same in my view. Yes parts are more expensive but still it is cheaper then buying a brand new version of that set.
  • DiggydoesDiggydoes Member Posts: 1,079
    ^that's why i always try to get almost the whole thing 100% accurate! Yep i have all the right levers,the printed dish and the grey boat rigging for the MF,and yes i have the white panels w/o side support for CC and 1x8sand green bricks for GG,BUT i don't care wether the jumper plates comes with or without Groove nor do i care if the headlight bricks have slots or not!
  • DaddyDeuceDaddyDeuce Member Posts: 272
    edited November 2012
    bricksan said:

    If the whole point of bricklinking a set is to have your own version, what is the point of getting replacement parts. if it is not identical then it is not the same in my view.

    It depends on what your personal intent is. For many people it doesn't have to be an exact copy, it just needs to be "close enough". In the case of my buffer recommendation above, I think the newer buffers are better for play. I wanted to build the holiday train and let my daughters play with it so the new buffers to me are an upgrade.

    In some cases I doubt that the official bricklink inventory should be treated as canonical. I've seen people obsess over whether headlights should be slotted, for example, when I'm not sure that TLG even considers those to be distinct parts. (On that point, Bricklink has finally come to agree with me and is planning on removing the slotted headlamp as a separate inventory item).
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 Member Posts: 1,431
    I bricklinked CC and just didn't want to spend extra $ for the correct doors. I found replacements that work for me. I don't plan on selling, so really, does it matter?
  • bricksanbricksan Member Posts: 566
    ^^ Fair point. I have use the inventory as a reference point only. I have built it in LDD and using LDD manager to make sure I acquire all parts. This is first "official" set I am bricklinking and for me it has to be 100% the same, I don't mind paying a bit extra for those elements either.

    ^For me yes it does, I either doing it 100% to the original instructions and elements or for me it would bug the crap out of me.
  • kylejohnson11kylejohnson11 Member Posts: 508
    Anyone who is embarking on the 10173, I have created for additional passenger cars a wanted list for bricklink (PDF'ed)and an excel spreadsheet to track expenses to figure out how much you've spent and which pieces you still need.

    Drop me a PM with your e-mail address and I'll send it to you.

  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Administrator Posts: 6,756
    Pah - since you've already Bricklinked 10179 all of the suggestions thus far for a follow-up will be too easy for you !

    You need a proper challenge. May I suggest @cavegod's UCS AT-AT - a little over 6,200 pieces of UCS goodness. That should keep you busy.


  • MorkManMorkMan Member Posts: 919
    Try building #3723. It's an iconic project. There's a thread about doing it here:
    Mini Figure
  • DiggydoesDiggydoes Member Posts: 1,079
    ^^you may laugh but i've already bought instructions for this beast :) but somehow i'm scared to start this project!
  • aeloleaelole Member Posts: 34
    I have also bricklink the 10179, new with no replacements and I have to say that the satisfaction watching your project complete is so great that you don't even care for the €€ spent, at least for me. Btw, bricklink in Europe is much more expensive than in US.. I am considering bricklink the eiffel tower. Did anyone from Europe try to it? estimated price?
  • MasterLegoMasterLego Banned Posts: 38
    It all depends. If you can get the incomplete set cheap enough and not missing too many pieces, it can be worth it. But most of the time I find it is not worth it.
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 3,170
    Depends what parts are missing. Some will be very difficukt to replace, like UCS Snowspeeder cockpit. There are many sets out there with unique pieces.
  • woony2woony2 Member Posts: 336
    I haven't gone out of my way to do this but have stumbled across many sets this way when I've bought bulk lots from ebay or my work intranet. Best one was about three years ago, I bought 2 lots from the same person for £11 and £13 and they lived 3 miles away so no postage. Sifted through it all and found #7283 Ultimate Space Battle, #7257 Ultimate Lightsaber battle, Droid fighter, a couple of exo-force sets and loads of random spares. Got the remaining bits for the 2 big sets for around £15 on bricklink. Overall a bargain. But mostly luck.
  • thorniethornie Member Posts: 245
    Just as costly in my experience, especially if the set lacks minifigs.
  • goshe7goshe7 Member Posts: 515
    Yes, if you start with the right level of incomplete on eBay and are patient.

    I'm working on #10133. There are a couple unique parts to that set that drive the piece-together-cost, including the yellow base ($20), six orange windows ($10ea). I started with an eBay auction of assorted train parts that contained parts from 2 of this set, plus a bunch of other train parts. After taking what I need, I expect to resell the balance of the lot for a little less than what I paid. (Meaning that I got those $80 of parts as well as a bunch of stickered and other parts for about $10).

    So if you are successful in identifying an incomplete set that contains some of the high priced parts, you can make it work. I think you have to do this on eBay where sellers are more likely to be clueless about the value of the parts in their incomplete sets.

    It also helps to be patient. I made the above score after waiting about 5 months and losing out on 3-4 other "incomplete" auctions where my max bid was set on the same basis.

  • ShpadoinkleShpadoinkle Member Posts: 420
    This is precisely how I like to collect. There's even a little added "Sherlock Holmes" factor involved with collecting this way. Back in the summer I picked up a lot for $550 from a local kid on craigslist. It was a BIG lot and had a lot of SW sets from 1999-2006. But the kid had played with everything and built and rebuilt a lot of the stuff himself. He had even replaced all the light gray plates on the star destroyer with red and black ones which made it look really cool!

    Anyway, after sifting through the parts and slowly organizing them, I began to set aside any "special" pieces I found (big, weird pieces, or just ones that had printing on them) and using bricklink I was able to discover what sets, or parts of sets I had. One of the best was I had some special dark blue and sand green printed pieces from Jango Fett's Slave I (as well as the minifig!) but was missing a good 30% of the pieces! For around $12.00 I was able to get the pieces I needed (the young Boba cost me more than that) but then I had a completed Slave I!!!

    Heck, just the other day I was flipping through the SW encyclopedia and noticed a familiar printed piece in the bottom right corner of a page. I checked my "special pieces bin" and realized that I had X3 #7250 Clone Scout Walkers! This is MONTHS after I stopped digging through that lot! I had all the pieces to make one, but had to order about $2.10 worth to complete the other two, but that's a small price to pay in my book!

    Anyway, just wanted to share my experience. In the end I have found it MUCH more enjoyable buying large lots and completing the sets than just buying new or used sets outright. There really is the added bonus of "detective work" that I find exciting!
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 Member Posts: 11,454
    I do this all the time. I agree with a lot of the above comments. There are some sets that have unique parts. It all depends what you have to start out with. Such as anything you are purchasing. Research is paramount. Know what you are getting yourself into before you purchase something. Sometimes it is a crap shoot as with large lots in tubs.
  • zippityzoomzippityzoom Member Posts: 86
    Specifically, I had come across an incomplete Jabba Sail Barge and Sandcrawler and wanted to see if anyone had any experience trying to piece together either set. On the barge, the two sails and Jabba mini fig are present (assuming those are the two most unique pieces to the set). On the Sandcrawler, I know the minifigs are missing and some other assorted parts. Any advice would be appreciated.
  • zippityzoomzippityzoom Member Posts: 86
    Specifically, I had come across an incomplete Jabba Sail Barge and Sandcrawler and wanted to see if anyone had any experience trying to piece together either set. On the barge, the two sails and Jabba mini fig are present (assuming those are the two most unique pieces to the set). On the Sandcrawler, I know the minifigs are missing and some other assorted parts. Any advice would be appreciated.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 Member Posts: 11,454
    Well...are the instructions there?
  • zippityzoomzippityzoom Member Posts: 86
    No instructions. I'd have to use online sources to locate that and parts list.
  • mrtonytjmrtonytj Guest Posts: 214
    Instructions don't matter as they are easy to get. I would say they would be a good buy at $100 each incomplete. The main parts to look out for on the barge are the sand colored grates that make up the floor, the sails, the sticker sheet! and of course the figs, as a full set of them for the barge can be anywhere over $100 just themselves. For the sandcrawler make sure it has the crane assembly (just got burned buying one without it!) and the 3 jawa figs that come with it as they are about $25 each now. There aren't many more "rare" pieces in those two sets apart from what i mentioned and even if all that was missing.. I would still buy them at $100 each..

    I personally LOVE buying incomplete sets upto 90% because 9 times out of ten they are DRASTICALLY cheaper than the going price and unless you buy something like the snowspeeder mentioned above or some ohter set with a $200 missing part it is always well worth it! (IMHO)
  • mrtonytjmrtonytj Guest Posts: 214
    edited January 2013
    Oh and BTW.. I have pieced together both those sets in the last month and a half... Just remember... any Lego is Good Lego :-)

    Also, even without the figs both sets are still worth buying and you can pick up the figs here and there over time unless you are in a hurry to complete them..
  • JezzatheshedJezzatheshed Member Posts: 164
    I do this all the time, I prefer a big mixed box to sort than a easy to build boxed set. The funny thing is that certain sets seem to turn up more than others- Ive had four or more complete jedi starfighters and now have a bag of parts for them. likewise two Y-Wings. Most frustrating was a blue jedi starfighter out of a mixed box which turned out to be complete but there was not one element of the hyperdrive ring?
    And yes it can get expensive sometimes as I recentley got about 75% of Fort legorado and have had to buy 150 odd brown log elements..should have checked the inventory first..
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 Member Posts: 11,454
    ^As far as the Jawas are concerned, someone on here is selling some. Might give you a good price. Check the Marketplace.

    I personally don't consider a set complete unless it has the instructions. Also, more times than not, when I sell a complete set on Ebay I always receive the question "Does it have the instructions?" Yes, some are relatively easy to obtain and some are hard to find in good condition.

    I love sorting through a big box of Legos as well. Although I took the plunge on a 25lb of Legos without minifigures and I think I got burned on this one. It was at a garage sale and it is nobody's fault but mine.
  • zippityzoomzippityzoom Member Posts: 86
    Thanks for all the advice! Lots of good knowledge.

    Unlike a lot of folks here, I'm not driven by the minifigs. But as a completist, I'd like to have them.
  • YodaliciousYodalicious Member Posts: 1,366
    Attempting to collect some minifigs from themes that I don't want entire sets, but I do want to "complete" the minifigs (all accessories, weapons, etc.). Some of these - the Chima crocs - are more complicated than getting a generic blaster. Anyone know of an easier way than looking at the full set part list and trying to determine what pieces make up their weapons?
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,556
    Look in the instructions? They are normally online too.
  • YodaliciousYodalicious Member Posts: 1,366
    ^ Brilliant! Wow, I feel more than stupid than not thinking of the most obvious answer. I blame my lack of coffee so far this morning.
  • ^ don't worry if you miss your coffee, a daily @CCC is all you need. ;-)
  • JamesJTJamesJT Member Posts: 440
    I bricklinked a 8288 for about £70 including instructions. Built it and then sold it for £150.
  • DiggydoesDiggydoes Member Posts: 1,079
    Had to bump this thread!
    After a little thinking i came to the conclusion that i'm going to Bricklink the Taj Mahal and the Eiffel Tower! From what i saw so far these contain most "common"parts,the ones that are not available in high quantity on BL are available direct from Lego-online! If anybody's Bricklinked one of them(or both) could you tell which were the hard to get by pieces? I want to do it 100% like the original versions so no substitutes!
    Any help is appreciated!
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Member Posts: 3,639
    ^I did both the Taj & Eiffel about a year ago or less. Here are some of the pricier parts:

    Yellow Technic Brick Right Angle
    White 6x10 plates
    White Hinge Plate 1x4
    Blue Baseplate 6x32
    Light Bley Brick Open Center 4x6

    Eiffel Tower:
    Dark Bley Fence 1x4
    Dark Bley Tile 8x16

    I can provide exact part cost breakdowns for my projects if wanted a closer look. Just me a PM if so.

    Hope this helps!
  • DiggydoesDiggydoes Member Posts: 1,079
    Thanks a lot for the info!!! I've checked Taj's inventory and i thought other pieces seems to be rare (especially in that quantity) so thanks a lot for sharing your insight!
    Do you actually know if it makes a difference if (regarding Eiffel Tower) i use the 8x16 Dk Bley Tile that comes with the ucs sets (as sticker plate)? I know that they are different (bottom tubes) bit would it affect the build if using the other variant?
  • patrickbranspatrickbrans Member Posts: 21
    Diggydoes said:

    Do you actually know if it makes a difference if (regarding Eiffel Tower) i use the 8x16 Dk Bley Tile that comes with the ucs sets (as sticker plate)? I know that they are different (bottom tubes) bit would it affect the build if using the other variant?

    I've BL'd the Eiffel Tower and build it over the weekend. I ordered the 8x16 tile that has the tubes all over instead of only on the edges. It worked perfectly and there is no visual difference at all.

  • DiggydoesDiggydoes Member Posts: 1,079
    ^Thanks for the info, good to know!!!! But i´ve already ordered the right ones via BL ;)
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Member Posts: 3,639
    ^The part list from Brickset and BL are different on that tile part. Can someone please confirm which version is the correct and originally came with #10181?
  • patrickbranspatrickbrans Member Posts: 21
    edited February 2013
    The instructions note the part number as 4287474 which is as listed on BL. However the part listed on LEGO replacement parts is 4596898 which is the version Brickset has listed.
    This is most likely due to the fact LEGO has replaced the former and the latter is neither functionally nor visually different. (Otherwise they would have kept the old one in there as unavailable as they did with the 1x2x2 panel).
    So BL has the one that came with the set originally.
  • jadedancjadedanc Member Posts: 1,302
    I just finished BLing Darth Maul. Haven't built him yet (last bricks came in today) Overall, a good experience. I already had about 85% in my building collection but had to order some of the rare pieces. Still didn't get the right Quarter Panels in black, went with trans-black sine the real ones are $20 each and you need 4 vs $0.30 for the trans-black ones.
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